Houston's Schaub looks to bounce back

By KRISTIE RIEKEN - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-03 16:47

HOUSTON (AP) - Matt Schaub has had a tough week.

It has nothing to do with fans calling for the benching of the Houston quarterback and burning his jerseys. He has learned to tune out that kind of negativity.

But he's unhappy with his performance last week and can't wait to get back on the field against the 49ers on Sunday to help erase the memories and get the Texans back on track.

Schaub has thrown an interception for a touchdown in each of his last three games. The most recent one allowed the Seahawks to tie the game in the fourth quarter of an eventual 23-20 overtime win on Sunday.

He said the game was one of the lowest moments of his career, second only to Houston's playoff loss to New England last season.

``The harsh part about this business is you have to wait seven days until you can go and get that taste out of your mouth,'' he said. ``It's not like other sports when you play the next night or next day. The only thing we can do as a group and me personally is go get ready to play San Francisco and go win that one.''

Now back to the flaming jerseys. Schaub refused to acknowledge that the impromptu bonfires of his No. 8 jersey after Sunday's game bothered him. But he did have a message for those people.

``That's someone's choice,'' he said. ``My goal is just to make sure, when we get done this thing at the end of the year, he's going back out and he's going to get one to wear.''

If Schaub and the Texans are going to do that, the first thing they'll have to do is eliminate their mistakes. Schaub's numbers have been fine. He's averaging almost 300 yards passing a game, which is fourth in the AFC and has thrown eight touchdown passes.

The problem has been the interceptions at critical times.

``You make a glaring mistake or two, it's the difference in the winning and losing,'' coach Gary Kubiak said. ``Bottom line, they can't happen and you've got to find a way to fix them.''

As ugly as the atmosphere surrounding Schaub is outside of the stadium, it hasn't seeped into his teammate's feelings toward the quarterback. The Texans know that Schaub isn't the only one making mistakes and that it's up to them to help make his job easier.

``Everybody has bad games,'' running back Arian Foster said. ``Everybody has bad runs. This is the NFL. It's not easy out there, especially at that position. He's our quarterback. He's our leader. I'm riding with him.''

Schaub said surrounding himself with the positivity of his teammates, his wife and three small children has helped him move on. But perhaps his biggest ally in this difficult period has been Kubiak, who was a quarterback before moving on to coaching.

``It just helps because he understands what we go through,'' Schaub said. ``He understands the daily grind that we go through physically and mentally, and how much things affect you positively and negatively. He understands the weight of the position.''

Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison isn't worried about the bad feelings from Sunday's game bleeding into this week. He has seen Schaub rebound from tough games before and expects him to do well this week.

Dennison went on to point out that the entire offense needs to improve against the 49ers.

``We still have to work at that consistency thing,'' he said. ``We've got to be able to make plays to finish the game out.''



AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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